The Best Sony a7S II Cage / a7R II Cage – 8 Cages Reviewed

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Shape Sony a7S II / a7R II Cage

Shape made a cage for the original a7S that was not part of our first series of reviews. On their Cage for the a7S II and a7R II they include their patented push-to-quick-adjust handle as a convenient top-handle. Let’s see how the cage performs as a whole.

Ease of Assembly and Disassembly

a7s-redIt’s not starting well for the Shape a7S II Cage. While the fact that the base screw is a hex screw that requires the correct allen key isn’t ideal, it is also partly blocked by their built-in V-Lock plate, which makes it very unconvenient to properly lock the camera to the cage.

Another problem is that the Metabones adapter cannot be installed while the camera is mounted to the cage. So every time you want to switch from a Sony to a Canon lens you will have to remove the whole camera from the cage first.

We were not able to attach the camera with opened side doors.

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How Securely is the Camera Attached to the Cage?

a7s-greenThe camera sits securely inside the cage. There’s half a millimeter of play, this point is barely green.

HDMI Cable Protector Design

a7s-doubleredAs we were not able to install the camera while the side-doors were open, there was no way to access the HDMI port. This seems to be a major design flaw.

On Shape’s product website, among the 11 pictures of the cage, we could not find the cage side doors depicted either.

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Do we Have Access to Other Outputs on the Side?

a7s-doubleredSame as above.

Is it Possible to use the Sony XLR-K2M Audio Module?

a7s-greenYes, the audio module can be used with this cage. It is possible to use the top-handle at the same time.

Can we Easily Access the Lens Release Button?

a7s-redNo. It is very hard to access the lens release button as it is blocked by the handgrip design of the cage and there is only a narrow deep hole. Not ideal in practice.

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How Well Can we Attach a Tripod Plate?

a7s-orangeDue to the built-in V-Lock baseplate it is not possible to attach a tripod plate directly to the cage. It is possible however to unmount the V-lock plate and attach a tripod plate instead. Alternatively you can use the V-Lock plate with V-Lock accessories. However usually these are used in combination with larger VCT plates for much larger cameras. The V-Lock standard is probably not ideal for a mirrorless camera.

How Good is the Included Rod Support?

a7s-greenThe included rod support is good. It is easy to mount 15mm rods, they sit at the correct height and the single wingscrew locks them securely in place. There is a large surface area at the bottom and a 1/4″ and 3/8″ thread to mount tripod plates securely. On the downside it is very heavy as it is basically a very thick piece of aluminum.

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Metabones Mount Quality

a7s-orangeThe Metabones Mount on the Shape a7S II Cage is unique as it retracts into the cage when it is not in use. This is a good idea, but unfortunately it requires an additional allen key and also a slotted screwdriver to pull it out as it sits so tightly inside the cage base. On our unit there was no screw included to install the Metabones adapter, so we had to use one of the V-Lock screws to attach it.

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The Top-handle Design

a7s-orangeThe top-handle on the Shape Sony a7S II Cage is made with Shape’s red-push-button design. This is convenient to quickly change the handle position. However that also makes the handle very bulky and heavy. On the positive side the handle is designed to fit the Sony XLR-K2M audio module as well, which is nice.

We didn’t like that the handle can only be removed with an allen key and can never be set straight (see images below).

best-a7s-ii-cage-029best-a7s-ii-cage-030

Overall Ergonomics

a7s-redThis cage didn’t live up to our expectations in terms of ergonomics. Overall the build quality and design doesn’t feel right. For example the cage scratches the battery door when opened and there are several sharp edges on the top surface, it seems like we can easily scratch ourselves, especially considering the total weight of the rig.

While the cage offers 2 coldshoes (3 when the top-handle is removed), there are very few mounting points on the cage. There is no EVF rod mount and no coldshoe on the handle.

The fact that we couldn’t mount the cage with open side doors was mentioned earlier.

Cage weight without top-handle: 332g
Cage weight with top-handle: 606g

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Conclusion

The Shape Sony a7S II / a7R II Cage left us disappointed with numerous design flaws and a mediocre quality. It is also among the most expensive of all tested cages. This one did not make it onto the list of our favourite cages for the Sony a7S II.

Price: $451

Please consider getting your gear through the link above. Thank you

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Links to each Cage Review:

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Williams Antonio Lamattina
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Nino Leitner
Guest

No – we asked several times but didn’t receive a review unit.

Williams Antonio Lamattina
Guest

Nino Leitner I could not know.I hope you will try it as soon as possible ;)

Nino Leitner
Guest

it’s mentioned in the review – yes we will make a second run if enough additional cages show up

cinema5D
Guest

No, we didn’t receive it in time despite asking for it. Might include it in a second run with additional cages.

Williams Antonio Lamattina
Guest

cinema5D Thanks for the answer ;)

Anand Vyas
Guest

Lockcircle is a small company but its the best cage

Carlos Chiossone
Guest
Carlos Chiossone

As for your HDMI cable support. I love the idea that i can use the support that comes with the camera, main reason, i can move the camera out of the cage onto the MOVI or drone easily and don’t have to deal with reattaching a cable support.
Wish could mount rods with better support.

Ollie Kenchington
Member

I’ve been using the Smallrig cage with my A7rii and I’ve been pretty pleased with it. I use a 3″ z-rail and Zacuto recoil handle on top and a kessler mini plate on the bottom. It’s a no frills option but only cost me £40.

Randy Panado
Guest
Randy Panado

I use this one too. Great cage for the money!! The new HDMI port protector is great as well. After reading the review, I think small rig would do very well in the round up. Only thing is no metabones mount (that I’m aware of).

 Matt Eldridge
Member

On the cage’s only Amazon review, it mentions that the Mode Dial is difficult to turn on the SmallRig Cage. Have you guys had similar experiences? Or is it all good?

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